Off-campus University of Miami users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your University of Miami CaneID and Password.

Non-University of Miami users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Meteorology and Physical Oceanography (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

David S. Nolan

Second Committee Member

Brian E. Mapes

Third Committee Member

Robert F. Rogers

Fourth Committee Member

Hugh E. Willoughby


Although a tropical cyclone may conceptually be regarded as an axisymmetric vortex, there is substantial evidence that asymmetric dynamics play an important role. In this thesis, dynamical impacts of rotating convective asymmetries are examined in this thesis. Two types of rotating convective asymmetries are considered: rotating eyewall convective maximum which is located in the core region of the storm and spiral bands which are located outside the core. Both of them can be characterized as rotating asymmetric convective heat sources, and they are superimposed on a balanced, axisymmetric vortex to approximate the effect of rotating eyewall convective maximum and spiral bands on tropical cyclone by using a simple nonhydrostatic three-dimensional, but linear model that is based on vortex anelastic equations. The evolution of rotating convective asymmetric heat sources on a balanced, axisymmetric vortex, which is modeled after tropical cyclones, is investigated to examine angular momentum transport by gravity waves that radiate away from the core region. Results show that gravity waves can transport angular momentum away from a tropical cyclone, but a very small amount, which is several orders of magnitude smaller than the estimate by recent studies. The significantly large difference may largely be due to the difference between two-dimensional and three-dimensional adjustment processes. Assuming that the effects of spiral bands on tropical cyclone wind field are caused by the response to diabatic heating in their convection, rotating asymmetric heat sources are constructed to reflect observations of spiral bands. These heat sources are rotated around a realistic but idealized balanced axisymmetric vortex. Simulation results show that the response of tropical cyclone wind field to idealized spiral band heat sources can successfully capture a number of observed well-known features of spiral band circulation, such as overturning secondary circulation, descending mid-level inflow, and cyclonic tangential acceleration. Comparison to full-physics numerical simulations confirms the validity of this method which provides a simple dynamical framework to better understand the impact of spiral bands in tropical cyclone.


Rotating Convective Asymmetries; Tropical Cyclone; Spiral Bands; Gravity Waves; Angular Momentum